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What Is a Hot-Stone Massage? Could It Be Right For You?

Anam Ather

A guide to hot-stone massages and how they’ll help melt away your stress and tension, one rock at a time.

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Foot Massage

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How to Plan the Perfect Couples Massage

Kelly MacDowell

It takes a lot more than just making the appointment—for starters, you’ve gotta figure out whether or not you’re talkers.

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Massage 101

Mae Rice

How your muscles are like a keyboard, the difference between Eastern and Western techniques, and other facts that will help you get more out of your next massage.

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Could It Be Right For You?","imported":false,"mobile_title":"","name":"","article_type":"","content":"<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"><img src=\"//img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/2UZ62nvKUE8K8xnNtBb6YP2V69NB/hot-stone-massage_hero-600x390_png-600x390\" alt=\"What Is a Hot-Stone Massage? Could It Be Right For You? | Hero\" width=\"600\" height=\"390\" /></span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">It&rsquo;s a bit of a catch-22: people get </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">massages</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> to relax their muscles, yet extremely tense muscles can actually make the massage less effective. That&rsquo;s where a </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/hot-stone-massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">hot-stone massage</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> can really help. The heat from the stones penetrates into the muscles and helps loosen them up so the therapist can provide a deeper and more relaxing massage quicker. </span></p>\n<h2>What is a hot-stone massage?</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">With this treatment, a licensed massage therapist will typically use smooth black </span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">basalt rock</span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">s or river rocks that have been heated to a uniform temperature in a water bath. Basalt stones are very rich in iron, which makes them particularly great at retaining heat and are even believed to help improve the flow of energy in your body.</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">The therapist will then either place the </span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">hot stones</span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> on specific points along the body to create soothing pressure or use them to actually massage muscles with steady pressure.</span></p>\n<h2>Hot-stone massage benefits</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">In addition to loosening muscles, the heat from the </span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">massage stones</span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> opens up blood vessels and improves circulation. Improved circulation allows more oxygen to be delivered to the muscles, which helps alleviate aches and pains. </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/benefits-of-massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Other massage benefits</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> may include:</span></p>\n<ul>\n<li style=\"font-weight: 400;\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Chronic-pain relief</span></li>\n<li style=\"font-weight: 400;\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Reduced stress and anxiety</span></li>\n<li style=\"font-weight: 400;\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Enhanced flexibility</span></li>\n</ul>\n<h2>Hot-stone massage techniques</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">The stones should never be uncomfortably hot, and it is important to let the therapist know if they are. As a therapist at Chicago&rsquo;s </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/biz/chicago/allure-de-vie-salon-day-spa\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Allure De Vie Spa</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> informed one of our beauty editors, </span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">heated stones</span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> can be warmed anywhere between 100&ordm; and 150&ordm; Fahrenheit. For facial massages, it&rsquo;s a little lower, as the skin on the face is more sensitive than the rest of the body. </span></p>\n<p><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">For advice on how to politely tell a massage therapist if something doesn&rsquo;t feel good, read our </span></em><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/massage-etiquette-tips-sb\"><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">massage etiquette tips</span></em></a><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">.</span></em></p>\n<h2>The history of hot-stone therapy</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">The use of </span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">hot stones</span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> is an ancient practice. It&rsquo;s been documented as far back as 2,000 years ago in China, and it surfaces in a multitude of cultures over the ages. There was a bit of a delay, though, between these storied practices and the emergence of modern </span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">hot-stone massage</span><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">.</span></p>\n<h2>See hot-stone massage in action below:</h2>\n<p><iframe src=\"//www.youtube.com/embed/oq2FCUX5YbQ?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0\" width=\"100%\" height=\"400\" frameborder=\"0\"></iframe></p>","created_on":"2017-02-02T00:03:59.510Z","last_modified_on":"2.6.2017","last_modified_by":"","location":null,"author_name":"Anam Ather","author":{"first_name":"Anam","last_name":"Ather","permalink":"anam-ather","username":"aather","real_name":"Anam Ather","category":"294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902","secondary_categories":"294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902","blog_name":"Groupon Editors","blog_url":"www.groupon.com/guide","bio_info":"A big fan of hugs, gangster rap, and Nutella, Anam is a former prom princess turned blogger who compiles all of her beauty and fashion musings at <a href=\"http://thestylemenu.com/\">The Style Menu</a>.","locale":"en_US","last_modified_on":1454946410792,"last_modified_by":null,"id":"cba3f221-830d-4063-b5b8-bbde6cb0d7df","author_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/d1s2EZKymwmjvqVqQj4uSS/anam-headshot_jpeg-600x585"},"locale":"en_US","seo_title":"What Is a Hot-Stone Massage? 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Honey, how are ya feelin&rsquo;?&rsquo;</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">&ldquo;And you can see his shoulders raise up a little bit, and she&rsquo;s like, &lsquo;How ya feelin&rsquo; over there? Are you relaxed?&rsquo; And he just chuckled and was like, &lsquo;Well, I was until you opened your big mouth!&rsquo;&rdquo;</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Monica chuckles, too, at the memory of the interaction. Luckily, the husband in her story wasn&rsquo;t bothered much, but not every spouse is as patient. The takeaway: if you&rsquo;re giving your partner a </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/couples-massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">couples massage</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">, you should probably have a chat before your appointment about, well, </span><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">chatting</span></em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">.</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Below, Monica&mdash;a licensed </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">massage</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> therapist since 2008&mdash;lets us in on a few other secrets to help couples get the most out of their co-massage experience.</span></p>\n<h2>Do plan the entire day around your massage.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">The treatment itself may only take an hour or two, but its effects last much longer. You should expect to feel relaxed yet somewhat tired afterward, so maybe schedule that tandem bungee jump </span><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">before</span></em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> you hit the </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/spa\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">spa</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re gonna do something [afterward], make it really relaxing,&rdquo; Monica says.</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">You should also consider your eating schedule. &ldquo;Eating beforehand is OK, but do it at least an hour before so you&rsquo;re not lying on a full belly,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;And don&rsquo;t have a massage at 6 o&rsquo;clock and then make a dinner reservation for 7:30, because then you&rsquo;re rushing to get there and you&rsquo;re not going to enjoy that nice, relaxing massage you just had.&rdquo; </span></p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/massage-etiquette-tips-sb\"><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Review tips on achieving massage zen</span></em></a><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> from another licensed massage therapist.</span></em></p>\n<h2>Don&rsquo;t bicker before your treatment.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">It doesn&rsquo;t matter who messed up the directions to the spa or who forgot to feed the Tamagotchi&mdash;just let it go. &ldquo;Try to come in a good mood,&rdquo; Monica advises. &ldquo;It helps move things along a little better when everybody&rsquo;s feeling good.&rdquo;</span></p>\n<h2>Do come early (or stay late) to enjoy the spa&rsquo;s extras.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Many spas include complimentary access to saunas, pools, fitness centers, and other amenities with treatment reservations. &ldquo;By all means, make use of that,&rdquo; Monica says. &ldquo;A lot of people [don&rsquo;t] take advantage of those facilities.&rdquo; If it&rsquo;s a </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/hotel-spa\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">hotel spa</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">, there may even be an onsite </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/restaurants\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">restaurant</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">.</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">If your spa doesn&rsquo;t have those extras, you should still show up a little early. &ldquo;If you come too close to the appointment time, you might be rushing around, the therapists might be rushing around, and &hellip; you can feel that rushed energy.&rdquo; Monica suggests arriving 15&ndash;20 minutes before your appointment time.</span></p>\n<h2>Do think about add-ons.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Has your partner had an especially stressful time at work lately? Then ask about aromatherapy, as scented essential oils can help calm the mind better than massage alone. Is it a particularly cold day? Add hot stones!</span></p>\n<p><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Learn about the benefits of hot stones in </span></em><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/everything-youd-want-to-know-about-hot-stone-massage\"><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">our text and video guide to the modality</span></em></a><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">.</span></em></p>\n<h2>Don&rsquo;t feel like you both have to get the same treatment.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">As with a solo session, couples massages should still include personalized consultations with the massage therapists. &ldquo;Usually people have individual wants and needs for their own bodies,&rdquo; Monica says. &ldquo;Someone might have shoulder tension; someone else might have just had ankle surgery and want attention on their legs.&rdquo;</span></p>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">And it&rsquo;s not just about focus areas, either. Couples should feel free to ask for different modalities. If one person just wants to relax, </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/swedish-massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Swedish</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> is probably enough for them. If the other person wants a more therapeutic treatment, &ldquo;then by all means, get the </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/deep-tissue-massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">deep tissue</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">, get the </span><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/sports-massage\"><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">sports massage</span></a><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">. Don&rsquo;t limit yourself.&rdquo;</span></p>\n<h2>Do take it easy on the bubbly.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">A lot of spas offer champagne with couples massages, but watch your intake before </span><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">and</span></em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> after the treatment. &ldquo;If you do drink afterward, it can hit you a lot faster because your circulatory system is going a lot quicker,&rdquo; Monica says. A little alcohol is OK, but make sure you drink plenty of water, too.</span></p>\n<h2>Don&rsquo;t assume you need a significant other.</h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Sure, couples massages make great romantic gifts for women and men. But Monica says plenty of platonic pairs come through Spa 42&rsquo;s couples room&mdash;siblings, friends, mothers and daughters. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s been more than I would have expected.&rdquo; The most important thing is just choosing someone you can really relax and enjoy the experience with.</span></p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/platonic-couples-massage\"><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Read a comedian&rsquo;s account</span></em></a><em><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> of getting a couples massage with her brother.</span></em></p>","created_on":"2015-01-22T20:01:20.139Z","fb_og_description":"It takes a lot more than just making the appointment—for starters, you’ve gotta figure out whether or not you’re talkers.","fb_og_title":"How to Plan the Perfect Couples Massage","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"5339801c197fe9653600000d","last_modified_on":"2.17.2017","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"A licensed massage therapist gives us the 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c-txt-price\n\">$49</span>\n </div>\n\n \n \n \n </div>\n\n </div>\n\n </div>\n </a>\n</figure>\n","listCardsHtml":false,"gridCardsHtml":true}},"r5":{"uuid":"6936472f-c549-49e4-a453-4e8accca267b","content":{"article_type":"NATIONAL","author":{"author_bg_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/czc2vU1e3uNfXsaAok1KG6/author_page_default-2000x375.gif","author_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/5o2aos52uArKrBB4mcuz7/Groupon_Guide_Staff_Image-403x403.jpg","bio_info":"The Groupon Guide: we cover the coolest food, beauty, and entertainment trends happening nationwide.","blog_name":"grouponguide.com","blog_url":"http://www.grouponguide.com","category":"","first_name":"Groupon","google_url":"grouponguide@groupon.com","groupon_id":"","last_name":" Guide","locale":"en_US","permalink":"groupon-guide","real_name":"Groupon Editors","secondary_categories":[],"username":"grouponguide@groupon.com","id":"df385855-6978-440d-b5a2-7d14dc0f0515","account_expired":false,"account_locked":false,"password_expired":false},"author_name":"Groupon Editors","author_page":false,"category":{"guid":"ed6e9893-f3e8-463a-82d7-24520f4dc35a","depth":4,"uuidPath":["c09790ba-a6b9-40fc-ad81-4cdf25260b5e","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902","8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009"],"name":"Sports Massage","shortName":"Sports","singular":"Sports","plural":"Sports","permalink":"sports-massage","seo_name":"sports-massage","chain":["beauty-and-spas","massage","sports-massage"]},"content":"<p><img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416.png\" alt=\"All About Sports Massage\" /></p>\n<p>You don&rsquo;t have to be an athlete to injure yourself while exercising. <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/sports-massage\" target=\"_blank\">Sports massage</a> can be as vital a part of rehabilitation for a pro football player with a serious injury as it can be for a casual jogger with a mild strain.</p>\n<h2>What is it:</h2>\n<p>Sports <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\">massage</a> is a catchall term for the therapies that can be applied to an athlete or someone participating in an athletic activity. As an article in <a href=\"http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=10712\" target=\"_blank\"><em>Massage Today</em></a> points out, the precise definition will change depending on the licensed massage therapist (LMT) you&rsquo;re speaking to.</p>\n<p>The key takeaway is that sports massage, in the hands of an experienced LMT, can be anything the patient needs it to be. For a runner before a marathon, sports massage can become a way of readying their legs for the endurance trial to come. For a martial artist undergoing intense training, sports massage can ease the muscle soreness that comes after heavy workouts. And for an athlete seriously injured by their activity of choice, sports massage can be a huge step on the road to full recovery.</p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"massage deals banner\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/kqCPnbZEDogqAuqQE6ZigB/massage-deals-banner-600x66/v1/c600x66.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"66\" /></a></p>\n<h2>What it does:</h2>\n<p>As this personally tailored approach implies, sports massages are more targeted than other massage therapies. The therapist might only work on your ankles, hip flexors, or shoulders, depending on what you desire.</p>\n<p>Many of the techniques employed&mdash;stroking, kneading, rubbing, striking, vibrating, etc.&mdash;are similar to those seen in <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/swedish-massage\" target=\"_blank\">Swedish</a> and <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/deep-tissue-massage\" target=\"_blank\">deep-tissue massage</a>. Sometimes the therapists speed up the strokes to increase flexibility and prevent athletic injuries; sometimes they are gentle and delicate; sometimes they exert very deep and fast pressure. Again, it all depends on what you need.</p>\n<h2>Where it's from:</h2>\n<p>According to an article in <a href=\"http://www.massagemag.com/a-brief-history-of-sports-massage-25854/\" target=\"_blank\"><em>Massage Magazine</em></a>, massage of some variety was practiced by European athletes throughout the 20th century. The techniques used then were a natural extension of the &ldquo;Swedish&rdquo; system frequently attributed to Pehr Henrik Ling (though it was <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/what-is-swedish-massage\" target=\"_blank\">actually an invention</a> of a 19th-century Dutchman named Johann Georg Mezger).</p>\n<p>Sports massage became more widely known as its own entity after the 1972 Olympic Games, when a Finnish track and field star credited the therapy for two of his big wins. He was treated with &ldquo;deep friction techniques,&rdquo; which were pioneered by a doctor named James Cyriax and remained popular throughout the 1970s and '80s. It&rsquo;s this method of deep-pressure massage therapy that is most frequently associated with sports massage, though it is not the only technique employed by sports massage therapists today.</p>\n<h2>Watch and learn more about sports massage:</h2>\n<p><iframe src=\"//www.youtube.com/embed/86NLT-FnADI?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0\" width=\"100%\" height=\"400\" frameborder=\"0\"></iframe></p>\n<div class=\"iframe-wrapper editor-component ui-draggable ui-draggable-handle\" contenteditable=\"false\">&nbsp;</div>","created_on":"2014-12-15T20:47:56.637Z","fb_og_description":"Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, though therapists often alter the strokes to help increase flexibility or rehabilitate athletic injuries.","fb_og_title":"All About Sports Massage","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"5339801c197fe9653600000d","last_modified_on":"11.10.2016","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, though therapists often alter the strokes to help increase flexibility or rehabilitate athletic injuries.","mobile_title":"","permalink":"sports-massage-is-for-athletes-and-casual-exercisers","photos":[{"hero":true,"altText":"All About Sports Massage","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416.png","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/kqCPnbZEDogqAuqQE6ZigB/massage-deals-banner-600x66","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/kqCPnbZEDogqAuqQE6ZigB/massage-deals-banner-600x66.jpg","caption":"","altText":"massage deals banner","hero":false}],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"4.14.2016","published_permalinks":["sports-massage-is-for-athletes-and-casual-exercisers"],"secondary_categories":["ed6e9893-f3e8-463a-82d7-24520f4dc35a","8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902"],"seo_title":"Sports Massage Is for Athletes and Casual Exercisers","tags":["massage","swedish_massage","sports_massage","beauty_and_spas","spas","rehabilitation","style_and_beauty"],"title":"All About Sports Massage","vhp_desc":"Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, though therapists often alter the strokes to help increase flexibility or rehabilitate athletic injuries.","name":"","schemaOrgAttr":{},"places":[],"id":"778e603a-02ad-4ddc-bd5e-9866fdba87f3","hero_image":{"hero":true,"altText":"All About Sports Massage","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416.png","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416"}}},"r10":{"uuid":"6936472f-c549-49e4-a453-4e8accca267b","content":{"article_type":"NATIONAL","author":{"author_bg_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/czc2vU1e3uNfXsaAok1KG6/author_page_default-2000x375.gif","author_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/uvDZ8BATBbin1GjztDpfR/Shannon-Grilli_jpg-300x292","bio_info":"","blog_name":"Guide Staff Writer","blog_url":"http://www.grouponguide.com","category":"","first_name":"Shannon","google_url":"","groupon_id":"","last_name":"Grilli","locale":"en_US","permalink":"shannon-grilli","real_name":"Shannon Grilli","secondary_categories":[],"username":"shannon @groupon.com","id":"6191c7ba-2a86-4dae-86c6-40a5eadf818c"},"author_name":"Shannon Grilli","author_page":false,"category":{"guid":"8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009","depth":3,"uuidPath":["c09790ba-a6b9-40fc-ad81-4cdf25260b5e","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902"],"name":"Massage","shortName":"Massages","singular":"Massage","plural":"Massages","permalink":"massage","seo_name":"massage","chain":["beauty-and-spas","massage"]},"city_guide_banner":{"source":null,"caption":null,"link":null,"image":null},"content":"<p><img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/bS9zKY8QqLJmoKWeazdJGK/massage-etiquette-600x390\" alt=\"How to Behave Before, During, and After a Massage\" /></p>\n<p>Although <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\">massages</a> are supposed to be about relaxation, many people find themselves anxiously wondering about how to conduct themselves during their treatment. Should you shave your legs? Should you chat with the massage therapist? Just how naked are you supposed to be?</p>\n<p>To deliver some pre-massage peace of mind, we talked to Shannon Merten, a licensed massage therapist who works out of her home.</p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\"><img class=\"alignnone size-full wp-image-26058\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/7nKwQSsKoqoiCNcMuwG23e/massage-deals-banner_600c66-600x66.jpeg\" alt=\"massage-deals-banner_600c66\" width=\"600\" height=\"66\" /></a></p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">How clean should I be?</strong></p>\n<p>&ldquo;Showering that day is preferable,&rdquo; Shannon said, and not just because it&rsquo;s more comfortable for the therapist. When your skin is clean, it will better absorb the lotions and oils used during your massage.</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">Should I shave my legs beforehand?</strong></p>\n<p>&ldquo;This is an often brought-up topic,&rdquo; Shannon said. &ldquo;Not shaving for a few days or even weeks is no reason for hand-wringing. &hellip; I can&rsquo;t even tell the difference.&rdquo;</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">What kind of information should I share with my massage therapist before my massage begins?</strong></p>\n<p>In order to get the most out of your massage, Shannon recommends being as specific as possible with your health history. Definitely tell your therapist about any major ailments or issues you are having at that time. Information about your daily activities can also be helpful&mdash;for example, are you an avid runner? Do you travel often for work? The more your therapist knows, the better she&rsquo;ll be able to customize your experience.</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">Should I get totally naked?</strong></p>\n<p>This is an area where Shannon lets the customer take the lead. &ldquo;I inform my clients that they can undress to their comfort level, and that they will be draped for the entirety of the massage.&rdquo;</p>\n<p>If you&rsquo;re having lower-back issues, though, consider the benefits of being in the buff: &ldquo;I recommend removing underwear because a glute massage is essential for these types of ailments. And if you&rsquo;ve never had your glutes and hips worked on, I highly recommend it. There are so many thick muscles in these areas, muscles that hardly ever get attention, and they all criss-cross and cause serious lower-back and hamstring issues.&rdquo;</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">During my massage, should I be quiet, or making small talk?</strong></p>\n<p>Whatever makes you most comfortable! &ldquo;If they&rsquo;re asking questions or bring[ing] up a topic, I will answer or join in. If they&rsquo;re quiet, I remain quiet. I think some people get nervous, so they may be a bit chatty.&rdquo; According to Shannon, most clients make small talk for the first 20&ndash;30 minutes, then zone out for the remainder of the massage.</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">How do I (politely) let a massage therapist know that what they&rsquo;re doing doesn&rsquo;t feel good?</strong></p>\n<p>&ldquo;I would rather my clients leave happy and satisfied than not, so if [the therapist] is doing something that is not enjoyable, a good &lsquo;that&rsquo;s a little too much pressure&rsquo; or &lsquo;that area is too sensitive to be worked on&rsquo; should get you satisfying results,&rdquo; Shannon said.</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">Am I supposed to tip my massage therapist? If so, how much?</strong></p>\n<p>According to Shannon, a 15&ndash;20% tip is appropriate. And remember: if the massage is discounted, you should tip 15&ndash;20% of the full price, not the discounted price.</p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/occasion/discover-your-city\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"banner discover\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/aCMGx7Lc9E7eeXsFJvc7tU/banner_discover-600x100/v1/c600x100.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"100\" /></a></p>\n<h2>Read more etiquette tips on the Groupon Guide:</h2>\n<table>\n<tbody>\n<tr>\n<td><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/salon-etiquette-a-stylist-talks-tipping-and-dirty-hair-sb\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"salon etiquette a stylist talks tipping\" style=\"float: left; margin-right: 13px; margin-bottom: 13px;\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/cusYnGwF6X2euHKjLuiPEB/salon-etiquette-a-stylist-talks-tipping_600x390-600x390.jpeg\" width=\"100%\" /></a></td>\n<td><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/articles/gym-etiquette-tips-from-a-pro-al\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"Seven Rules for Proper Gym Behavior texting 600c390\" style=\"float: left; margin-right: 13px; margin-bottom: 13px;\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/fqp1ZREifGzgkZwNuprfSg/Seven-Rules-for-Proper-Gym-Behavior-texting_600c390-600x390.jpeg\" width=\"100%\" /></a></td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"text-align: center;\"><strong>Etiquette Questions You Wish You Could Ask Your Stylist</strong></td>\n<td style=\"text-align: center;\"><strong>Seven Rules for Proper Gym Behavior</strong></td>\n</tr>\n</tbody>\n</table>","created_on":"2014-10-28T14:21:44.000Z","deal_keywords":[],"fb_og_description":"We asked a licensed massage therapist whether or not you should talk during your treatment, and why it’s best to be fully naked.","fb_og_title":"How to Behave Before, During, and After a Massage","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"548f2befcfa70efd3a000003","last_modified_on":"11.10.2016","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"We asked a licensed massage therapist whether or not you should talk during your treatment, and why it’s best to be fully naked.","mobile_title":"","permalink":"massage-etiquette-tips-sb","photos":[{"hero":true,"img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/5AjShf9SrXbgs2ecFb9jXW/massage-etiquette-hero-5760x3456/v1/c600x390.jpg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/5AjShf9SrXbgs2ecFb9jXW/massage-etiquette-hero-5760x3456/v1/c600x390"},{"hero":false,"img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/cusYnGwF6X2euHKjLuiPEB/salon-etiquette-a-stylist-talks-tipping_600x390-600x390.jpeg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/cusYnGwF6X2euHKjLuiPEB/salon-etiquette-a-stylist-talks-tipping_600x390-600x390","altText":"salon etiquette a stylist talks tipping"},{"hero":false,"img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/fqp1ZREifGzgkZwNuprfSg/Seven-Rules-for-Proper-Gym-Behavior-texting_600c390-600x390.jpeg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/fqp1ZREifGzgkZwNuprfSg/Seven-Rules-for-Proper-Gym-Behavior-texting_600c390-600x390","altText":"Seven Rules for Proper Gym Behavior texting 600c390"},{"hero":false,"altText":"banner discover","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/aCMGx7Lc9E7eeXsFJvc7tU/banner_discover-600x100","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/aCMGx7Lc9E7eeXsFJvc7tU/banner_discover-600x100"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/bS9zKY8QqLJmoKWeazdJGK/massage-etiquette-600x390","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/bS9zKY8QqLJmoKWeazdJGK/massage-etiquette-600x390","caption":"","altText":"How to Behave Before, During, and After a Massage","hero":true}],"places":[],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"2.3.2016","published_permalinks":["massage-etiquette-tips-sb"],"secondary_categories":["8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902"],"seo_title":"Massage Etiquette Tips","tags":["style_and_beauty","massage","etiquette"],"title":"How to Behave Before, During, and After a Massage","vhp_desc":"<p>We asked a licensed massage therapist whether or not you should talk during your treatment, and why it&rsquo;s best to be fully naked.</p>","name":"","schemaOrgAttr":{},"id":"2da197aa-f2ef-4e76-85f6-c1d918f66701","validationError":[],"last_published_on":"2016-09-28T00:34:29.787Z","hero_image":{"hero":true,"img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/5AjShf9SrXbgs2ecFb9jXW/massage-etiquette-hero-5760x3456/v1/c600x390.jpg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/5AjShf9SrXbgs2ecFb9jXW/massage-etiquette-hero-5760x3456/v1/c600x390"}}},"c9":{"uuid":"2a83153b-28a3-4597-bf59-c2083ba5e137","content":[]},"c10":{"uuid":"4e8bfd9d-cd97-47aa-8485-bb21eb4e9ac8","section_title":"Deep Tissue Massage","section_link":"//www.groupon.com/local/boardman-oh/deep-tissue-massage","content":{}},"c14":{"uuid":"323f3e91-1504-49f1-8360-b650fdb5fd5f","content":{"category":"Massage","locationName":"Boardman","columnLayout":"two-up","categoryLinks":{"links":[{"anchorText":"Massage in Green","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/green-oh/massage","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Massage in 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Searches","tag":"CrosslinksCategoryLink"},"geoLinks":{"links":[{"anchorText":"Restaurants in Canton","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/canton-oh/restaurants","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Things To Do in Akron","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/akron/things-to-do","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Restaurants in Akron","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/akron/restaurants","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Pizza in Akron","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/akron/pizza","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Restaurants in Cuyahoga Falls","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/cuyahoga-falls-oh/restaurants","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Restaurants in Warren","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/warren-oh/restaurants","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Restaurants in Youngstown","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/youngstown-oh/restaurants","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Oil Change in Akron","url":"https://www.groupon.com/local/akron/oil-change","indexed":true},{"anchorText":"Pizza in 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Spas","level":0,"isHighlighted":true,"isParent":true,"isChild":false},{"count":34,"friendlyName":"Salons","friendlyNameShort":"Salons","id":"salons","chain":["beauty-and-spas","salons"],"slug":"salons","uuid":"salons","shortName":"Salons","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":23,"friendlyName":"Makeup","friendlyNameShort":"Makeup","id":"makeup","chain":["beauty-and-spas","makeup"],"slug":"makeup","uuid":"makeup","shortName":"Makeup","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":13,"friendlyName":"Face & Skin Care","friendlyNameShort":"Face & Skin","id":"skin-care","chain":["beauty-and-spas","skin-care"],"slug":"skin-care","uuid":"skin-care","shortName":"Face & Skin","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":10,"friendlyName":"Cosmetic Procedures","friendlyNameShort":"Cosmetic Procedures","id":"cosmetic-procedures","chain":["beauty-and-spas","cosmetic-procedures"],"slug":"cosmetic-procedures","uuid":"cosmetic-procedures","shortName":"Cosmetic Procedures","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":6,"friendlyName":"Hair Removal","friendlyNameShort":"Hair Removal","id":"hair-removal","chain":["beauty-and-spas","hair-removal"],"slug":"hair-removal","uuid":"hair-removal","shortName":"Hair Removal","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":6,"friendlyName":"Brows & Lashes","friendlyNameShort":"Brows & Lashes","id":"brow-and-lash","chain":["beauty-and-spas","brow-and-lash"],"slug":"brow-and-lash","uuid":"brow-and-lash","shortName":"Brows & Lashes","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":6,"friendlyName":"Nail Salons","friendlyNameShort":"Nails","id":"nail-salons","chain":["beauty-and-spas","nail-salons"],"slug":"nail-salons","uuid":"nail-salons","shortName":"Nails","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":5,"friendlyName":"Hair & Styling","friendlyNameShort":"Hair","id":"hair-salons","chain":["beauty-and-spas","hair-salons"],"slug":"hair-salons","uuid":"hair-salons","shortName":"Hair","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":4,"friendlyName":"Spa","friendlyNameShort":"Spas","id":"spa","chain":["beauty-and-spas","spa"],"slug":"spa","uuid":"spa","shortName":"Spas","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":3,"friendlyName":"Massage","friendlyNameShort":"Massages","id":"massage","chain":["beauty-and-spas","massage"],"slug":"massage","uuid":"massage","shortName":"Massages","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true},{"count":1,"friendlyName":"Blowouts & Styling","friendlyNameShort":"Blowouts & Styling","id":"blow-outs-and-styling","chain":["beauty-and-spas","blow-outs-and-styling"],"slug":"blow-outs-and-styling","uuid":"blow-outs-and-styling","shortName":"Blowouts & Styling","level":1,"isHighlighted":false,"isParent":false,"isChild":true}],"selectedUUID":"294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902","locationURL":"boardman-oh","category":{"root":{"name":"Local","guid":"c09790ba-a6b9-40fc-ad81-4cdf25260b5e","permalink":"local"},"item":"Local > Beauty & Spas","guid":"294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902","permalink":"beauty-and-spas","name":"Beauty & Spas","taxonomy":"Customer Taxonomy","category":1,"chain":["beauty-and-spas"],"depth":1,"id":"beauty-and-spas"},"locale":"en_US","local":"/local","i18n":{"locale":"en_US","country":"US","brandId":"groupon","translations":{"modules":{"wh_templates_controller":null}},"scope":"modules.wh_templates_controller"}}},"r7":{"uuid":"6936472f-c549-49e4-a453-4e8accca267b","content":{"article_type":"NATIONAL","author":{"author_bg_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/czc2vU1e3uNfXsaAok1KG6/author_page_default-2000x375.gif","author_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/5o2aos52uArKrBB4mcuz7/Groupon_Guide_Staff_Image-403x403.jpg","bio_info":"The Groupon Guide: we cover the coolest food, beauty, and entertainment trends happening nationwide.","blog_name":"grouponguide.com","blog_url":"http://www.grouponguide.com","category":"","first_name":"Groupon","google_url":"grouponguide@groupon.com","groupon_id":"","last_name":" Guide","locale":"en_US","permalink":"groupon-guide","real_name":"Groupon Editors","secondary_categories":[],"username":"grouponguide@groupon.com","id":"df385855-6978-440d-b5a2-7d14dc0f0515","account_expired":false,"account_locked":false,"password_expired":false},"author_name":"Groupon Editors","author_page":false,"category":{"guid":"ed6e9893-f3e8-463a-82d7-24520f4dc35a","depth":4,"uuidPath":["c09790ba-a6b9-40fc-ad81-4cdf25260b5e","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902","8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009"],"name":"Sports Massage","shortName":"Sports","singular":"Sports","plural":"Sports","permalink":"sports-massage","seo_name":"sports-massage","chain":["beauty-and-spas","massage","sports-massage"]},"content":"<p><img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416.png\" alt=\"All About Sports Massage\" /></p>\n<p>You don&rsquo;t have to be an athlete to injure yourself while exercising. <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/sports-massage\" target=\"_blank\">Sports massage</a> can be as vital a part of rehabilitation for a pro football player with a serious injury as it can be for a casual jogger with a mild strain.</p>\n<h2>What is it:</h2>\n<p>Sports <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\">massage</a> is a catchall term for the therapies that can be applied to an athlete or someone participating in an athletic activity. As an article in <a href=\"http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=10712\" target=\"_blank\"><em>Massage Today</em></a> points out, the precise definition will change depending on the licensed massage therapist (LMT) you&rsquo;re speaking to.</p>\n<p>The key takeaway is that sports massage, in the hands of an experienced LMT, can be anything the patient needs it to be. For a runner before a marathon, sports massage can become a way of readying their legs for the endurance trial to come. For a martial artist undergoing intense training, sports massage can ease the muscle soreness that comes after heavy workouts. And for an athlete seriously injured by their activity of choice, sports massage can be a huge step on the road to full recovery.</p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"massage deals banner\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/kqCPnbZEDogqAuqQE6ZigB/massage-deals-banner-600x66/v1/c600x66.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"66\" /></a></p>\n<h2>What it does:</h2>\n<p>As this personally tailored approach implies, sports massages are more targeted than other massage therapies. The therapist might only work on your ankles, hip flexors, or shoulders, depending on what you desire.</p>\n<p>Many of the techniques employed&mdash;stroking, kneading, rubbing, striking, vibrating, etc.&mdash;are similar to those seen in <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/swedish-massage\" target=\"_blank\">Swedish</a> and <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/deep-tissue-massage\" target=\"_blank\">deep-tissue massage</a>. Sometimes the therapists speed up the strokes to increase flexibility and prevent athletic injuries; sometimes they are gentle and delicate; sometimes they exert very deep and fast pressure. Again, it all depends on what you need.</p>\n<h2>Where it's from:</h2>\n<p>According to an article in <a href=\"http://www.massagemag.com/a-brief-history-of-sports-massage-25854/\" target=\"_blank\"><em>Massage Magazine</em></a>, massage of some variety was practiced by European athletes throughout the 20th century. The techniques used then were a natural extension of the &ldquo;Swedish&rdquo; system frequently attributed to Pehr Henrik Ling (though it was <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/articles/what-is-swedish-massage\" target=\"_blank\">actually an invention</a> of a 19th-century Dutchman named Johann Georg Mezger).</p>\n<p>Sports massage became more widely known as its own entity after the 1972 Olympic Games, when a Finnish track and field star credited the therapy for two of his big wins. He was treated with &ldquo;deep friction techniques,&rdquo; which were pioneered by a doctor named James Cyriax and remained popular throughout the 1970s and '80s. It&rsquo;s this method of deep-pressure massage therapy that is most frequently associated with sports massage, though it is not the only technique employed by sports massage therapists today.</p>\n<h2>Watch and learn more about sports massage:</h2>\n<p><iframe src=\"//www.youtube.com/embed/86NLT-FnADI?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0\" width=\"100%\" height=\"400\" frameborder=\"0\"></iframe></p>\n<div class=\"iframe-wrapper editor-component ui-draggable ui-draggable-handle\" contenteditable=\"false\">&nbsp;</div>","created_on":"2014-12-15T20:47:56.637Z","fb_og_description":"Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, though therapists often alter the strokes to help increase flexibility or rehabilitate athletic injuries.","fb_og_title":"All About Sports Massage","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"5339801c197fe9653600000d","last_modified_on":"11.10.2016","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, though therapists often alter the strokes to help increase flexibility or rehabilitate athletic injuries.","mobile_title":"","permalink":"sports-massage-is-for-athletes-and-casual-exercisers","photos":[{"hero":true,"altText":"All About Sports Massage","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416.png","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/kqCPnbZEDogqAuqQE6ZigB/massage-deals-banner-600x66","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/kqCPnbZEDogqAuqQE6ZigB/massage-deals-banner-600x66.jpg","caption":"","altText":"massage deals banner","hero":false}],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"4.14.2016","published_permalinks":["sports-massage-is-for-athletes-and-casual-exercisers"],"secondary_categories":["ed6e9893-f3e8-463a-82d7-24520f4dc35a","8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902"],"seo_title":"Sports Massage Is for Athletes and Casual Exercisers","tags":["massage","swedish_massage","sports_massage","beauty_and_spas","spas","rehabilitation","style_and_beauty"],"title":"All About Sports Massage","vhp_desc":"Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, though therapists often alter the strokes to help increase flexibility or rehabilitate athletic injuries.","name":"","schemaOrgAttr":{},"places":[],"id":"778e603a-02ad-4ddc-bd5e-9866fdba87f3","hero_image":{"hero":true,"altText":"All About Sports Massage","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416.png","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ctVZXwzaejwMvgUXDLi6EN/sports-massage-hero-697x416"}}},"c11":{"uuid":"6936472f-c549-49e4-a453-4e8accca267b","content":{"article_type":"NATIONAL","author":{"author_bg_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/czc2vU1e3uNfXsaAok1KG6/author_page_default-2000x375.gif","author_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/8ociNTzFaU3gpJHPi9i38c/headshot-mae-rice-568x456","bio_info":"Mae Rice is a Groupon Guide staff writer who writes about eyelash extensions, French food, what \"business casual\" even means, and other style and food topics.","blog_name":"Guide Staff Writer","blog_url":"","category":"","first_name":"Mae","google_url":"","groupon_id":"","last_name":"Rice","locale":"en_US","permalink":"mae-rice","real_name":"Mae Rice","secondary_categories":[],"username":"mae-rice","id":"a91446bd-6aaa-4ba4-964e-96eb5b4404ed"},"author_name":"Mae Rice","author_page":false,"category":{"guid":"8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009","depth":3,"uuidPath":["c09790ba-a6b9-40fc-ad81-4cdf25260b5e","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902"],"name":"Massage","shortName":"Massages","singular":"Massage","plural":"Massages","permalink":"massage","seo_name":"massage","chain":["beauty-and-spas","massage"]},"city_guide_banner":{"image":null,"link":null,"caption":null,"source":null},"content":"<p><img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/98vXYJ3NvfLcfmdU1dnjLg/massage-101_600x390-600x390.jpeg\" alt=\"Massage 101\" /></p>\n<p>Emmanuel Bistas, the founder and director of Chicago&rsquo;s <a href=\"http://www.newschoolmassage.com/\" target=\"_blank\">New School for Massage</a>, has been teaching massage students for more than a decade. A licensed massage therapist himself, he also treats clients at <a href=\"http://www.rivernorthmassage.com/aboutus.html\" target=\"_blank\">River North Massage Therapy Center</a>, which he co-owns.&nbsp;Below, he answers some of the most common questions people have about <a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\">massage</a> (and tosses out some pretty sweet analogies in the process).</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">Why is massage good for you?</strong></p>\n<p>People think of massage as a treatment for the body, but its benefits actually start off in the brain. According to Bistas, bodywork signals to the brain and the nervous system that it&rsquo;s okay to relax. These central bodily control systems pass the message along to the muscles and the rest of the body, creating trickle-down relaxation effects.</p>\n<p>Bistas compares the process to typing. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re working with a computer, and the information gets processed in the hard drive, but you&rsquo;re interacting with it through the keyboard.&rdquo; (Except the computer is the body, the hard drive is the brain, and the keyboard is the muscles and skin.)</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/local/massage\" target=\"_blank\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-26058\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/jo66KgXQoFEd5sPTZxdDnT/massage-deals-banner_600c66-600x66.jpeg\" alt=\"massage-deals-banner_600c66\" width=\"600\" height=\"66\" /></a></p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">How is massage different from the medicine you get at a drugstore?</strong></p>\n<p>It&rsquo;s collaborative. &ldquo;The client plays a big role,&rdquo; Bistas says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not the same as taking a chemical substance,&nbsp;a pill that will knock you out whether you believe it will or not.&rdquo; To make a massage treatment successful, he says, clients need to do four things:</p>\n<ul>\n<ul>\n<li><strong>Be receptive:</strong>&nbsp;If the patient doesn&rsquo;t like to be touched, or doesn&rsquo;t think massage will help them, the treatment will produce more tension than it releases.</li>\n</ul>\n</ul>\n<ul>\n<ul>\n<li><strong>Participate:</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;If the pressure is not right, you need to say something.&rdquo;&nbsp;Same goes if you&rsquo;re overheating, too cold, or otherwise uncomfortable.&nbsp;</li>\n</ul>\n</ul>\n<ul>\n<ul>\n<li><strong>Commit:</strong>&nbsp;A regular regimen of massages is more effective than a smattering of emergency ones. If clients only get massages when they are in serious pain, they put the therapist in an impossible situation, since he or she then has &ldquo;60 minutes to undo damage that has been done for years.&rdquo;</li>\n</ul>\n</ul>\n<ul>\n<ul>\n<li><strong>Know what it isn&rsquo;t:</strong>&nbsp;Massage is a supplemental treatment&mdash;it won&rsquo;t single-handedly make you healthy. Wellness also requires &ldquo;proper nutrition, sufficient rest,exercise, and medical care,&rdquo; Bistas says.</li>\n</ul>\n</ul>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">What&rsquo;s the difference between Western and Eastern massage styles?</strong></p>\n<p>The difference lies in how therapists think about the body. In a Western framework, muscles and connective tissue&mdash;basically, the physical body&mdash;are the primary focus. But in an Eastern framework, &ldquo;they&rsquo;re not even thinking about the muscles. They&rsquo;re thinking about the flow of energy and information&nbsp;through the body, and how to clear that up,&rdquo; Bistas says.</p>\n<p>The techniques that result from each framework are similar, in that they involve applying pressure strategically. But the schools of thought use &ldquo;different maps,&rdquo; as Bistas puts it, to arrive at their techniques. Bistas compares it to two people heading downtown. One is armed with a bike map, the other with a map of pedestrian pathways. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re seeing the same terrain,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;but they follow different routes and notice different landmarks.&rdquo;</p>\n<p><strong style=\"font-size: 1.5em;\">What style of massage is best for my symptoms?</strong></p>\n<p>This is the wrong question, Bistas says. For one thing, every style of massage is so customizable, it can easily be tailored to the client&rsquo;s needs. &ldquo;We can change the stroke, the depth of the stroke, or the speed, or the temperature,&rdquo; Bistas says&mdash;all without ever switching modalities.</p>\n<p>Secondly, any symptom can mean a variety of things. For example, upper-back pain could indicate an actual upper-back problem, but it could also be rooted in a tightness in the chest that makes you hunch forward, or many other causes.</p>\n<p>Symptoms, in other words, are an unreliable guide. According to Bistas, it&rsquo;s more effective to choose a massage style based on what feels best to you. For help with that, see our <a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/articles/which-massage-style-is-right-for-you\" target=\"_blank\">massage decision tree</a>.</p>","created_on":"2014-01-07T19:04:11.000Z","deal_keywords":[],"fb_og_description":"How your muscles are like a keyboard, the difference between Eastern and Western techniques, and other facts that will help you get more out of your next massage.","fb_og_title":"Is Massage Good for You? We Ask an Expert.","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"548f2befcfa70efd3a000003","last_modified_on":"11.10.2016","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"How your muscles are like a keyboard, the difference between Eastern and Western techniques, and other facts that will help you get more out of your next massage.","mobile_title":"","permalink":"massage-101","photos":[{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/98vXYJ3NvfLcfmdU1dnjLg/massage-101_600x390-600x390","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/98vXYJ3NvfLcfmdU1dnjLg/massage-101_600x390-600x390.jpeg","hero":true,"altText":"Massage 101"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/jo66KgXQoFEd5sPTZxdDnT/massage-deals-banner_600c66-600x66","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/jo66KgXQoFEd5sPTZxdDnT/massage-deals-banner_600c66-600x66.jpeg","hero":false,"altText":"massage-deals-banner_600c66"}],"places":[],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"9.10.2015","published_permalinks":["massage-101-with-new-school-of-massages-emmanuel-bistas"],"secondary_categories":["8e89c6d5-bc8a-48ad-8cf0-3a675f651009","294ea30b-dd37-49a1-9805-e9e6c7617902"],"seo_title":"Is Massage Good for You? We Ask an Expert.","tags":["style_and_beauty"],"title":"Massage 101","vhp_desc":"<p>How your muscles are like a keyboard, the difference between Eastern and Western techniques, and other facts that will help you get more out of your next massage.</p>","name":"","schemaOrgAttr":{},"id":"a7d1309d-0af5-4649-a1ba-6677748012b9","hero_image":{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/98vXYJ3NvfLcfmdU1dnjLg/massage-101_600x390-600x390","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/98vXYJ3NvfLcfmdU1dnjLg/massage-101_600x390-600x390.jpeg","hero":true,"altText":"Massage 101"}}},"r11":{"uuid":"6936472f-c549-49e4-a453-4e8accca267b","content":{"article_type":"NATIONAL","author":{"author_bg_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/czc2vU1e3uNfXsaAok1KG6/author_page_default-2000x375.gif","author_image":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/goFmmqEsdMKgyQNSDsS3Do/Goods_logo-310x310","bio_info":"From buying guides to trend forecasts, we cover everything you need to know about your favorite products. Shop great deals on housewares, electronics, and beyond on <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/goods\" target=\"_blank\">Groupon Goods</a>.","blog_name":"https://groupon.com/goods","blog_url":"groupon.com/goods","category":"ba05ad4c-c55c-4128-b70a-e2d145b85548","first_name":"Groupon ","google_url":"","groupon_id":"","last_name":"Goods","locale":"en_US","permalink":"groupon-goods","real_name":"Groupon Editors","secondary_categories":["db2cb956-fc1a-4d8c-88f2-66657ac41c24","ba05ad4c-c55c-4128-b70a-e2d145b85548"],"username":"grouponbuyingguide@groupon.com","id":"77945f2d-004a-4739-96f6-99b2c711c104","account_expired":false,"account_locked":false,"password_expired":false,"title":"From buying guides to trend forecasts, we cover everything you need to know about your favorite products. Shop great deals on housewares, electronics, and beyond on <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/goods\" target=\"_blank\">Groupon Goods</a>."},"author_name":"Groupon Editors","author_page":false,"category":{"guid":"b30428b7-4d34-41c4-a721-31c71cee00e3","depth":3,"uuidPath":["db2cb956-fc1a-4d8c-88f2-66657ac41c24","9308a9a1-d736-42f7-b66b-f301f1fd652f"],"name":"Massage & Relaxation","shortName":"Massage & Relaxation","singular":"Massage & Relaxation","plural":"Massage & Relaxation","permalink":"massage-and-relaxation","seo_name":"massage-and-relaxation","chain":["health-and-beauty","massage-and-relaxation"]},"content":"<p><img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/dKwGc9Nu6aQdj9uXgxnYLN/massage-600x287\" alt=\"Massage and Relaxation Buying Guide\" /></p>\n<p>Massage therapy can offer respite to achy bodies, but it's not always a practical choice considering the time and money it requires. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get the <a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/goods/massage-and-relaxation\" target=\"_blank\">benefits of a spa massage at home</a>. In this guide, we&rsquo;ve laid out key areas to target and examples of massage tools that offer the healing benefits of spa therapy&mdash;no appointment necessary.</p>\n<h2>Where It Hurts: Back</h2>\n<p><img alt=\"back pain\" class=\"alignleft\" style=\"float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px; display: block; z-index: 100;\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/79a5hbamSKBn8u8vH8VY8e/back_pain-625x469/v1/c312x230.jpg\" width=\"312\" height=\"230\" /></p>\n<p><strong>Areas to Target: </strong>The muscles running along each side of the spine are prone to pockets of tension, and massaging the trapeziuses&mdash;the muscles that run between your neck and shoulders&mdash;can relieve pain or burning in that area.&nbsp;<br /><strong>Massage Techniques:</strong> To relieve muscle&nbsp;pain in the back, therapists employ methods including muscle lifting, knuckling, and deep-tissue stimulation&mdash;a technique used in Swedish massages. Heat therapy is also common; hot-stone massages, for example, use water-heated stones to increase circulation and relax the back&rsquo;s large muscles.</p>\n<p><strong><u>Tools That Can Get It Done</u></strong></p>\n<ul>\n<li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"><strong>Electric massage belts:</strong> These use vibration, heat therapy, or a combination of the two to simulate deep-tissue massage and soothe the lower back.</span></li>\n<li><strong>Seat cushions:</strong> Set on chairs or recliners, these cushions use internal rotating discs and knobs to knead the areas alongside the spine.</li>\n<li><strong>Massage balls:</strong> A massage ball can be a great tool for warming up or cooling down muscles before and after workouts. Some massage balls come studded with rounded spikes to help increase circulation and hasten muscle recovery.</li>\n</ul>\n<h2>Where It Hurts: Neck</h2>\n<p><img alt=\"neck pain\" class=\"alignright\" style=\"float: right; margin: 0px 0px 0px 10px; display: block; z-index: 100;\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/7XdDHXt2o7XfaejwA25WsA/neck_pain-625x469/v1/c312x230.jpg\" width=\"312\" height=\"230\" /></p>\n<p><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Areas to Target: </strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The sides of the neck, spot beneath the back of the skull, and upper trapezius muscles are prone to tension caused by stress or overextension.</span><br /><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Massage Techniques:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> The neck is a common problem area for trigger points: tight knots of muscle fiber that can sometimes radiate pain across the body. Once found, these points can be relieved by a wide variety of methods, including circulation-stimulating acupressure, high-frequency pulses, or physical kneading and tapping.</span></p>\n<p><strong><u>Tools That Can Get It Done</u></strong></p>\n<ul>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Massage wands:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> While they&rsquo;re great for massaging other parts of the body, too, massage wands make it easy to treat hard-to-reach areas like the upper trapezius muscles.</span></li>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Shoulder-draped massagers:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> Many of these products come with handles or clasps built into their tips, so you can tie or snap them together to keep your hands free while the massagers&rsquo; nodes go to work on your shoulders and the sides of the neck.&nbsp;</span></li>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Electrode pads: </strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">These adhesive pads are ideal for targeting localized pain and stiffness, sending high-frequency electronic pulses to loosen up troublesome knots.</span></li>\n</ul>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/goods/massage-and-relaxation\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"Massage & Relaxation\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gFfA2S9Jm1RhC1tEKEti/gm-600x100/v1/c600x100.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"100\" /></a></p>\n<h2>Where It Hurts: Feet</h2>\n<p><img alt=\"foot pain\" class=\"alignleft\" style=\"float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px; display: block; z-index: 100;\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/24Thb2dVMb5inhdJ47CPJR/foot_pain-625x469/v1/c312x240.jpg\" width=\"312\" height=\"240\" /></p>\n<p><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Areas to Target: </strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The arch of the foot in general is a key area to target, but pressure points directly beneath the ball and the pad of the foot can be particularly soothing when stimulated.&nbsp;</span><br /><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Massage Techniques:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> Oils complement the kneading of a foot massage. Reflexology mats target precise spots on the foot to relieve tension in other parts of the body. Stroking or kneading the arch can also help alleviate pain.</span></p>\n<p><strong><u>Tools That Can Get It Done</u></strong></p>\n<ul>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Platforms: </strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Great for use while working at a table or watching TV from the couch, these electronic massagers use customized kneading and rolling on the arch of the foot.</span></li>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Acupressure sandals:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> When you need to be on your feet, nodule-studded slippers and sandals provide reflexology-like relief and help boost circulation.&nbsp;</span></li>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Massage balls:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> Rolling&nbsp;studded or smooth massage balls beneath the arch of the foot can help alleviate nagging pain caused by common overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis.</span></li>\n</ul>\n<h2>Where It Hurts: Eyes/Face</h2>\n<p><img alt=\"head pain\" class=\"alignright\" style=\"float: right; margin: 0px 0px 0px 10px; display: block; z-index: 100;\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gfyBD4bHRNVmLyaeGzCmbZ/head_pain-625x469/v1/c320x230.jpg\" width=\"320\" height=\"230\" /></p>\n<p><strong>Areas to Target:</strong> Massaging the inside corners of the eyes, eyebrows, and temples can help stimulate circulation.&nbsp;<br /><strong>Massage Techniques:</strong> Simple self-massage using the index fingers and&nbsp;thumbs can help, and more advanced methods, including vibration, infrared heat, and air pressure, are also beneficial. Depending on the techniques used, massaging these areas can result in fewer headaches, reduced puffiness, and less eye strain.</p>\n<p><strong><u>Tools That Can Get It Done</u></strong></p>\n<ul>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Masks: </strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">From the simpler models that incorporate eyestrain-reducing vibration to more sophisticated devices that combine vibration, infrared heat, and skin-firming compression, masks can help rid eyes of dark circles and puffiness.&nbsp;</span></li>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Handheld massagers: </strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Handheld&nbsp;vibration massagers help to pinpoint pain centers, and they can be easily stashed in a purse or bag.&nbsp;</span></li>\n<li><strong style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Massage wands:</strong><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\"> Using a model with interchangeable&nbsp;tips and applicators can provide gentle yet effective therapy to sensitive areas on the face, such as the temples, cheeks, and eye area.</span></li>\n</ul>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h2>Additional Benefits of Aromatherapy</h2>\n<p>While massage by itself is helpful in relieving muscular soreness and pain, improving flexibility, and promoting circulation, those benefits can be amplified by supplementing massage with aromatherapy. The most common tools used in aromatherapy are <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/goods/massage-oils-lotions-and-candles\" target=\"_blank\">essential oils and diffusers</a>, the latter of which help safely distribute the oils&rsquo; healing properties throughout rooms.</p>\n<p><strong>Essential Oils:&nbsp;</strong></p>\n<p>While some can help treat physical ailments, <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/goods/massage-oils-lotions-and-candles\" target=\"_blank\">essential oils</a> used in aromatherapy can also go well beyond, working as antidepressants (chamomile), immunity-system strengtheners (lavender), and psychologically calming tonics (geranium). Essential oils can be used in soothing massages, baths for achy hands and feet, and even sinus- and respiratory-healing steamed inhalants.</p>\n<ul>\n<li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Adding them to a footbath will increase muscle relaxation and circulation.</span></li>\n<li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">Steaming essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus can help to clear the sinuses.</span></li>\n</ul>\n<p><img alt=\"Massage & Relaxation\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/bK6zPEPDNjMc5CoLTgw2/ne-600x150/v1/c600x150.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"150\" /></p>\n<p><strong>Diffusers:</strong></p>\n<p><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/goods?query=oil-diffusers&amp;category=health-and-beauty\" target=\"_blank\">Diffusers </a>come in lots of shapes, sizes, and functions, but essentially, they all serve the same purpose: to distribute essential oils&rsquo; healing properties throughout a room. Some are simple: tissue paper that serves as a canvas for essential oils, while others, such as nebulizing diffusers, break down the oil&rsquo;s molecules before spraying them into the air. You should choose a diffuser based on how you plan to use essential oils in your aromatherapy treatments.</p>\n<ul>\n<li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">If the air in your space is a little dry, try an ultrasonic diffuser; these can help humidify the air with a mist that combines water and essential oil.</span></li>\n<li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">For a diffuser that&rsquo;s as calming as it is stylish, try one that emits light; a soft, ambient glow can complement the soothing properties of the oil and make your bedroom look like a spa.</span></li>\n<li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">If you plan on using a diffuser at bedtime, look for one with an auto-off feature.</span></li>\n</ul>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p><img alt=\"Massage & Relaxation\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/miwn8XGXwVnjeW3pu8Dy/bW-600x150/v1/c600x150.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"150\" /></p>","created_on":"2015-05-05T20:40:20.316Z","deal_keywords":[],"fb_og_description":"Find the right tools to relieve pain in the back, neck, feet, and face, all in the comfort of your own home.","fb_og_title":"Massage and Relaxation Buying Guide","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"54e3ace9572a133003000003","last_modified_on":"11.10.2016","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"Give yourself a soothing massage at home with these tools, which can help to alleviate pain in the back, neck, feet, or face.","mobile_title":"","permalink":"benefits-of-spa-massage-at-home","photos":[{"hero":true,"altText":"Massage and Relaxation Buying Guide","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/dKwGc9Nu6aQdj9uXgxnYLN/massage-600x287","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/dKwGc9Nu6aQdj9uXgxnYLN/massage-600x287"},{"hero":false,"altText":"head pain","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gfyBD4bHRNVmLyaeGzCmbZ/head_pain-625x469","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gfyBD4bHRNVmLyaeGzCmbZ/head_pain-625x469"},{"hero":false,"altText":"back pain","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/79a5hbamSKBn8u8vH8VY8e/back_pain-625x469","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/79a5hbamSKBn8u8vH8VY8e/back_pain-625x469"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/24Thb2dVMb5inhdJ47CPJR/foot_pain-625x469","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/24Thb2dVMb5inhdJ47CPJR/foot_pain-625x469","caption":"","altText":"foot pain","hero":false},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/miwn8XGXwVnjeW3pu8Dy/bW-600x150","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/miwn8XGXwVnjeW3pu8Dy/bW-600x150","caption":"","altText":"Massage & Relaxation","hero":false},{"hero":false,"altText":"Massage & Relaxation","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gFfA2S9Jm1RhC1tEKEti/gm-600x100","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gFfA2S9Jm1RhC1tEKEti/gm-600x100"},{"hero":false,"altText":"Massage & Relaxation","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/bK6zPEPDNjMc5CoLTgw2/ne-600x150","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/bK6zPEPDNjMc5CoLTgw2/ne-600x150"}],"places":[],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"4.14.2016","published_permalinks":["benefits-of-spa-massage-at-home"],"secondary_categories":["b30428b7-4d34-41c4-a721-31c71cee00e3"],"seo_title":"Massage and Relaxation Buying Guide","tags":["buying_guide"],"title":"Massage and Relaxation Buying Guide","vhp_desc":"Find the right tools to relieve pain in the back, neck, feet, and face, all in the comfort of your own home.","name":"","schemaOrgAttr":{},"id":"d17fea51-a9ed-4a6e-8cda-af23a55304c1","hero_image":{"hero":true,"altText":"Massage and Relaxation Buying Guide","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/dKwGc9Nu6aQdj9uXgxnYLN/massage-600x287","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/dKwGc9Nu6aQdj9uXgxnYLN/massage-600x287"}}},"c12":{"uuid":"2a83153b-28a3-4597-bf59-c2083ba5e137","content":[]}}}